The good horses are making their way back and Saturday's Caulfield card boasts 40 horses that resume from spells of two months or more.
So many horses resuming from breaks can obviously making things a bit trickier for punters but it certainly means we have a stack of interesting races or angles to scrutinise.
Our best of the day is one of the 40 resuming runners on Saturday - the James Cummings-trained .
We last saw Bivouac back in the autumn when winning the Kindergarten and posting a very slick time in doing so. In fact, compared to the card, and allowing for his age, the time looked awesome. Too good to be true? Probably, and the soft track probably slowed as the day went on, but the fact that runner-up Libertini came out and posted another pair of slick performances on the back of it at least bolsters confidence that the time was a very good one.
Bivouac's two soft track runs were over 1100m and he posted smart performances on both occasions. He also rock 'n' rolled the smart Cosmic Force in a hot Pierro Plate. If he kicks off at that peak level (a recent jump out did nothing to pour cold water on that) he will beat was has been served up to him in Saturday's Vain Stakes and we are keen to go along for the ride.
We could easily have thrown up Behemoth as the bet of the day in the Regal Roller but Bivouac wins out. The Regal Roller appeals as a betting option in more ways than one though and Long Leaf is an interesting runner in a good each way race.
Long Leaf ran well on this day last year (albiet in a very weak Vain Stakes) and extended that campaign right through to March, racing consistently well throughout.
He's pretty good, pretty versatile, and well handicapped in the Regal Roller with the bonus of having Damien Oliver to steer. He could press into a handy spot without surprising and with the right run he is good enough to be bang in the finish at double figure prices.
THE MELBOURNE MAIL
Bet Of The Day: Race 5 #2 Bivouac @ $2.40
Each Way Play: Race 7 #6 Long Leaf @ $10.00
Bivouac, picture Stevehart.com.au